House Committee Approves Hiring of 65 Immigration Judges

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WESLACO – New immigration judges could soon be assigned to the Rio Grande Valley. There are currently more than 500,000 pending immigration cases across the country.

The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee approved a measure to hire 65 new immigration judges to help with the backlog of cases. These additions would bring the total number of immigration judges to 449.

The new judges would be added to border regions with the highest workloads. CHANNEL 5 NEWS previously reported how the backlog causes authorities to either release people who cross into the country illegally in the U.S. with a notice to appear in court later or detain them for long periods of time.

Right now, there are eight immigration judges in the Rio Grande Valley. Local immigration attorneys said there should be at least 10.

Lawmakers said they hope adding the 65 new immigration judges would make the wait time for a case 60 days for detained people and a year for people living in the country. Currently, the median wait time for an immigration case is 71 days for detained people and about two years for others.

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